First off, I have to say that until The Mistress’s Revenge, there was nothing that I wouldn’t read. I have actually read the coupons in the back of the phone book and every piece of junk mail that comes through my mailbox. If I pick up a book, magazine or news article, I do not put it down until I have finished it – no matter how awful or boring it is. I enjoy reading that much. This book, however, was an exception.
To me, The Mistress’s Revenge by Tamar Cohen is the epitome of everything that makes people not want to read books. Boring, snobbish, rambling, clumsy and whining are the nicest words I can come up with to describe it. I honestly have no idea what the point of the book was other than what I can get off of the back cover. I found myself scrubbing toilets and kitchen floors, reorganizing the pantry cabinet and washing every piece of laundry in sight just to avoid the agony of trying to decipher the story.
The entire book is basically written as babbling journal entries from Sally to her ex-lover Clive, but they jump from past to present to future in no particular order and are written with words that no one I know uses. Granted, I didn’t need a dictionary to understand their meaning, but I found myself rereading boring paragraph after boring paragraph to make sure that I understood what Sally was attempting to say to Clive. For example:
Sian shot me a meaningful look. That word “guilty” of course eliciting Pavlovian response. But it’s quite clear to me Tilly was just being provocative. And the truth is I don’t feel guilty. Not about any of it. I’m sure I ought to, but I actually don’t. “Guilt is so plebeian,” you used to say dismissively. You always thought of it as a wasted emotion. And of course you were right. So clever of you to classify emotions like that – according to their usefulness. I must start doing the same, I really must. Cutting out the emotional chaff must make your inner life so much more efficient. You must have the Volkswagen of inner lives, Clive. I’ve got to hand it to you.
This is the first and hopefully the last book that I have not read in its entirety. I just could not take any more of the twisting, confusing mess. I tried, I truly did, but I began skipping a paragraph here and there, which turned into a page here and there and then a couple pages and so forth, until I finally found myself at the end.
I can only hope that others find The Mistress’s Revenge more interesting and enjoyable than I did. I would not recommend this book to anyone – it was absolutely, hands down the worst book I’ve ever picked up.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Free Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.